What to put in the hen house.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chzheadgrl, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. chzheadgrl

    chzheadgrl Out Of The Brooder

    May 10, 2010
    When my hens go into their coop for the night, do I need to put food and water in there with them? It seems like they don't touch it until I let them out in the morning.
  2. CathyRN

    CathyRN Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 17, 2010
    Sevier County, TN
    I have one of those chicken tractors that have the sleeping quarters that you lock up at night with nesting boxes inside. I keep food/ water on the floor of the coop, but not up in the nesting box/ sleeping area. When they lock up to go to sleep they really don't need it until next day. I once left the food and water up there and all they did was make a huge mess of it during the night.....! So, once they get locked up for bed at 9pm, I don't open the coop up until 7am at which time its like a traffic jam getting to the food....we call it the chicken morning rush hour.[​IMG]
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I don't know what others do, but here is what I have found:

    I tried the whole nine yards- grit, water, and food in each of my coops (and I do have a lot of coops).

    The grit bowl overturned.
    The water bowl grew mold under it- ewwwww!!! Fuzzy mold.
    The food got kicked everywhere. The bigger chickens would go to the smaller chickens' houses and raid the food, terrifying everyone, even though they HAD food in their house.

    Now: I have a simple and elegant setup. It mimics the songbird routine for finding food and water.

    Food, grit, and water are distributed throughout the run. There are several of each, to reduce competition.

    I remove all food when it turns dark and they have gone to the coops. I return when it gets light outside and fill the feeders/waterers.

    This works well for me. They don't have to live with mold in their houses. I can easily measure their food intake.

  4. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Mine go into the hen house to sleep at night and lay eggs during the day. That's it. When they wake up they go out into the run for their food and water. I figure if the food attracts ants or vermin I would rather it be out in the run anyhow. Plus I want the girls in the coop as little as possible, less poo for me to clean up. My feed is protected from the weather by being situated under the hen house.
  5. lindseythefork

    lindseythefork Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2008
    Humboldt County, CA
    I wouldn't. It's not like they're going hours without food or water, and if they seem to be happy then I would call it good. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by